Prior to the 2023 NFL season, not many people were giving the Green Bay Packers much of a thought. After moving on from Aaron Rodgers, many believed the team would flounder with Jordan Love at quarterback. For months, the national media (and even some local content creators) put Love under a microscope and criticized every mistake, every missed throw, and every interception.
Love’s season was far from perfect, too. After starting 2-1 with Love throwing seven touchdowns and a single interception, the Packers lost four in a row while Love threw four touchdowns and seven interceptions. When asked about that stretch after Green Bay’s 17-9 playoff-clinching victory on Sunday, Love said: “Everyone knew what we were capable of. It was easy for us to keep believing.”
“Everyone,” of course, means all the players in the Packers locker room. Love’s teammates spent the entire offseason telling every national and local media pundit who would listen that their new quarterback was something special. It was not until the second half of the season, when Love led the Packers to a 5-2 record in their last seven games, that everyone else started to take notice.
Love ended his first season as the Packers’ starting quarterback with a 64.2% completion percentage, 4,159 passing yards, 32 touchdown passes, and 11 interceptions to go with a passer rating of 96.1. Not only was it the best statisical season for any Packers quarterback in their first year starting in franchise history, but also the third-best statistical season for a first-year starter in the NFL history.
Green Bay Packers Running Back Aaron Jones Has Strong Words for Those Who Doubted Jordan Love
When the Packers first traded Rodgers to the New York Jets, fully committing to Love for the 2023 season, Aaron Jones flew out to California to visit his new starting quarterback. It was time to get to work. Multiple times during the offseason, Love and Jones coordinated workouts in California with the Packers’ young skill players. Being the youngest offense in NFL history meant there was a great deal of work to do.
And through it all, Jones told everyone that Love was the real deal. After Green Bay defeated Chicago (for the 10th time in a row) on Sunday, Jones told media that the time has come for apologies, because receipts are being drawn up:
Aaron Jones on Jordan Love being The Guy: “I’ve been saying it. People have been calling me crazy for saying it. I had people all over my social media, but I keep receipts. And I hope he does too. I know these guys in this locker room keep receipts for him.”
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) January 8, 2024
Speaking of receipts, let’s pull some on behalf of Aaron Jones.
Some Green Bay Packers Fans Wanted Aaron Jones Cut Prior to and During the 2023 NFL Season
Jones took a $5 million pay cut to stay with the Packers this year, yet many fans believed he should have been cut to save money. As he struggled with injuries for most of the season, those claims kept coming:
Aaron Jones is a great dude and one of the best pure runners in the sport. He fumbles too often in big moments and should be cut because of positional value. Both are true and not “hate”. https://t.co/HMy8H19qxT
— Shea (@SMSports__) January 20, 2023
I don’t think Aaron Jones was worth anything close to the contract he got. And he will be cut in the off-season. But I also think you can give AJ Dillon the ball and Aaron jones the ball more than they get. Dillon is a big back that should get 15+ attempts. Jones as a alternate.
— Brady Carpenter (@bradycarpente22) October 25, 2022
Release Aaron Jones
— Izzy (@AppleJuiceBoys2) December 2, 2023
Release Aaron Jones I’ve seen enough #GoPackGo
— Ronald Regions🤓🧀 (@3baby_p) November 12, 2023
In the past three games, Jones has three consecutive 100+ yard performances. He is the first Packers running back with three straight 100-yard games since Ahman Green in 2003.
Not only is it a good thing the Packers kept Jones this year, but they should look hard into keeping him in 2024.